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Physio chosen to lead musculoskeletal clinical research in north east and northern Cumbria

26 June 2014 - 11:08am

A physiotherapist from North Yorkshire is to head local research into musculoskeletal (MSK) diseases, on behalf of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).


MSK speciality lead Nicholas Harland

Nicholas Harland, a clinical research consultant for South Tees Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, has been selected as the MSK speciality lead for the North East and Northern Cumbria Clinical Research Network.

The CSP welcomed his appointment, with chief executive Karen Middleton describing it as ‘fantastic news’.

Natalie Beswetherick, director of practice and development, said: ‘This is an excellent achievement that will raise the profile of MSK advanced practitioners.’

Dr Harland, who also works as a research fellow at Teesside University, told Frontline: ‘My appointment provides further evidence that there is an ongoing culture change within the NHS and the Department of Health that increasingly values the input of physiotherapists and other allied health professionals in senior leadership roles.

‘I am proud to be one of an increasing number of clinical academic physiotherapists that are pushing the boundaries of what physiotherapists traditionally do, with clinical and research practice that has the overall goal of improving patient care.’

The paid position will see Dr Harland working as part of a team in a strategic leadership role. He will be responsible for meeting performance targets that include:


  • increasing the overall number of NIHR studies, which consist of clinical research that is considered to be of high quality and clear value to the NHS
  • increasing the number of recruits for studies
  • recruiting study participants to deadlines
  • increasing the number of commercial studies in the region

The NIHR’s clinical research network consists of 15 local networks in England, with each network aiming to deliver research in 30 clinical specialties.

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